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In two weeks my daughter Katie moves back to Ottawa for her second year at university.

She’s been home for the summer, and it’s been lovely to have her here, but it’s time for her to go back. She misses being an adult, I think.

And she really is an adult!

She lives with three other young women and they all take turns cooking and all the chores are divided out. The house runs really well.

Yesterday we were talking about setting goals in your family with your husband, and today I want to suggest a specific goal if you have kids at home: teach your kids to cook.

Cooking is the one skill everyone must have before they leave home.

Every kid should know how to cook before they leave home. Does yours? Click To Tweet

There are others, too, like how to manage your money or how to navigate public transit. But, seriously, everybody needs to know how to cook. It’s healthier, it’s cheaper, it lets you be hospitable, and it’s far more conducive to good family life when they do get married!

Here’s one of Katie’s posts from Instagram shortly after she moved out last year:

Teach kids to cook! An intro to the Kids Can Cook Ecourse

THAT was a proud Mommy moment!

Katie claims I started teaching her to cook breakfast when she was 6, and she had to make the pancakes because I was too lazy. That’s not how I remember it, but that’s her story and she’s sticking to it.

But the fact is that the girls were helping me around the kitchen when they were really young. Even though they sometimes (okay, often) slowed me down, I figured:

  • It helped us have mommy/daughter time
  • They learned some important lessons
  • We could do math in an interesting way (measuring cups!)
  • They were more likely to eat what they cooked
  • Eventually they’d master this stuff and then I’d get a break!

That last one was especially important for me. And you know what? It happened! By the time they were 11 and 12 they were making dinner occasionally, and I had the night off. Here’s Rebecca at 15 making dinner!

Teach your kids to cook! Why kids need to learn how to cook when they're young--and how to teach them.

Now, I had all girls, but I think this is just as important if you have boys. EVERYBODY needs to know how to cook, because even if you’re married, there are times when everyone will have to cook for themselves. You can’t rely on someone else, and to believe that the spouse will do all of the cooking puts an undue strain on the relationship before it even starts! Now, I do do most of the cooking because I enjoy it and that’s how Keith and I have divided up tasks. But if Keith had to make dinner–he certainly could. So teach your boys to cook!

The best gift you can give your future daughter-in-law is a son who can cook! Click To Tweet

And with school starting again, I think this is a great time of year to start planning for it. How are you going to teach your kids to cook? When? It won’t just magically happen without a plan!

That’s where Kids Cook Real Food comes in

If you want to teach your kids how to cook, but you have no idea how to start, Katie Kimball has created the Kids Cook Real Food online course where you watch videos of her actual kids cooking (they range in age from about 4 to early teens, so there’s a good mix), and then there are learning objectives and recipes for each lesson. Kids learn how to wash and cut produce, how to use spices, how to measure, how to bake, and so much more!

And Katie (Katie with the ecourse, not my daughter Katie) focuses on cooking “real” food, not just learning how to make spaghetti from a jar or a can. She shows kids how to make food from scratch–and how it really isn’t that hard.

Katie says:

We’ll provide everything you need to get your kids from kitchen assistants to independent cooks – and you get to have fun in the kitchen.

Plus, this is finally a class that all your kids can do together – no more trying to find time to meet the needs of each age individually. You can all spend time together AND have a final product that you can eat for dinner.

There’s no fluff, no games, and no glitter.

Promise.

And she means it, too! I’ve taken a look at all these resources, and they’re really comprehensive. And really fun! I know my kids would have loved this.

Check it out here!

Leanne Seel, one of my blog readers, was actually the one who told me about this amazing course (seriously, my blog readers tell me about the coolest stuff!). (Full disclosure: I’m an affiliate for it now, but only because I legitimately love it! I’m totally on board for ANYTHING that helps kids learn to be responsible and stops mom from feeling like a maid.) Leanne’s been working through the course with her kids, and here’s how she explains it:

The Kids Cook Real Food eCourse is a multimedia online course designed to help adults teach kids to cook. It includes videos, PDF files, printable graphics, and recipe ebooks. You do not need to be a chef or teacher to use this program. Course creator Katie Kimball is absolutely brilliant in how she’s put this together. She walks you through exactly what you need to do, making the lessons easy to implement and fun to do.

My kids love “Mrs. Kimball”. They cheer when I tell them it’s time for their cooking class. Seeing other kids demonstrating the skills in the videos is really motivating to them, and they use every opportunity they can to practice their skills both during the lesson and afterwards.

I have saved so much time in the kitchen by using this course! I invest less than an hour of my time for each lesson, and the payback is immediate. My kids have learned to make their own healthy snacks so I don’t have to. They wash the produce for salad while I chop, cutting the prep time in half. This week, our lesson is on sharp knife skills so very soon they will be able to take over more vegetable chopping.

Food preparation is one of those uber-important life skills. Kids Cook Real Food can help you save time now giving your children the skills they need for the future.

It really is awesome.

But you know what often stops us? Dinner time is too rushed. We don’t have time to incorporate cooking skills into an evening. We don’t have time to have kids underfoot in the kitchen. We’d rather they just play by themselves and let us get the meal on the table so we can get on with the important stuff of living.

But what if teaching your kids to cook IS the important stuff of living?

Seriously, isn’t it more important than a karate class? Than swimming lessons? Than having play time?

It helps you spend quality time with your kids where they’ll have your attention. It helps them learn such an important life skill. And it helps them eventually take over those tasks so they learn to be responsible and contribute to the household.

Any time you’re teaching something it’s going to be some work. But if pays off big time once they can do it! And imagine how grown up a 10-year-old will feel knowing that they can make a meal all by themselves?

School’s about to start, and whether your kids are in public school, private school, or homeschool, it means that life will get hectic. Now’s the time when YOU are setting the schedule for the rest of the year, deciding what activities you’ll be doing, when you’ll be doing homework, what chores kids will be doing.

Can I suggest that you take one night a week and call it “cooking class night”? Your kids will love it. You’ll love the results. And your kids will know how to cook when they leave home! It’s a win-win.

Katie Kimball only opens up the course at certain times of the year. You can’t just register any time–though once you have access you can take the classes any time you want. She opened up registration yesterday, and it’s open until Wednesday, August 24.

Take advantage of this offer now!

Now tell me: how did you learn to cook? Do you teach your kids to cook? Let’s talk in the comments!

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